Confirmed: BBC Worldwide IS Completing Doctor Who: Shada Using Animation!

The rumours have been around for some time, but finally, we have confirmation: the BBC Worldwide is to release Shada, Douglas Adams’ unbroadcast Fourth Doctor serial, on DVD, steelbook Blu-ray, and digital download, combining original live-action footage with hand-drawn animation!

In 1979, Shada, directed by Pennant Roberts, was due to conclude Doctor Who Season 17; but industrial action meant scenes to be shot in the BBC studios were never filmed, and the serial left uncompleted. Footage survived, however, and the DWC has previously looked at its first public airing, at a convention in the Philadelphia area, America; a few attempts to release the story have been made, including a version with linking narration by the Doctor himself, Tom Baker, and a DVD, paired with More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS.

Now, 39 years after it was first abandoned, Shada is to be completed, combining the original, remastered footage, with brand new colour animation to complete the story. The animation will feature the newly-recorded voices of the original cast, including Tom Baker as the Doctor and Lalla Ward as Romana, performing the original script.

Shada will be released first as a digital download on Friday 24th November 2017, and subsequently on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 4th December 2017.

You’ll notice that Adrian Salmon, Doctor Who Magazine illustrator and a friend of the DWC’s, provides the beautiful, wraparound art for the steelbook – and worked on the animation too!

Tom Baker remembers:

“Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories. I have many fond memories of shooting the location scenes in Cambridge, and it was disappointing not to finish the story in studio. I’m so glad that BBC Worldwide have found a way to bring fans a complete visual version.”

Shada is being produced by the same team behind the critically acclaimed animation of The Power of the Daleks and the similarly-lost Dad’s Army episode, A Stripe For Frazer. The team have had access to nearly 7 hours of raw footage from the original shoot from which they are editing the new production from scratch, with all the original film negatives re-scanned in full HD and digitally remastered.

Physical releases will come with these special features:

  • Taken Out of Time (25′ 39″)
  • Now and Then (12′ 45″)
  • Strike, Strike, Strike! (27′ 50″)
  • Studio Sessions – 1979 (44′ 38″)
  • Dialogue Sessions (14′ 16″)
  • Model Filming (04′ 36″)
  • Deleted Scenes (01′ 22″)
  • Title Sequence Films (TBC)
  • Live Action Reference Footage (02′ 48″)
  • 1979 Gallery (04′ 50″)
  • 2017 Gallery (02′ 52)

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says:

“Fans loved The Power of the Daleks, so we’re delighted to be able to complete and bring them another lost Doctor Who classic.”

Furthermore, on Saturday 2nd December, there will be a special screening of this new Shada production at BFI Southbank, London. Further information will be available from bfi.org.uk from Monday 23rd October. Tickets for BFI members will be available from Tuesday 7th November, and for the public from Tuesday 14th November.

Naturally, the DWC will cover this release in full, so stay tuned!

Shada will be released as a digital download on Friday 24th November, and then on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 4th December. Pre-order on EST from iTunes and the DVD from Amazon.